NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – UMass Dartmouth used a big second half to pull away, handing the Keene State College women's basketball team a 75-48 loss in both teams' regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center.
- Keene State: 6-19, 4-10 LEC
- UMass Dartmouth: 22-3, 14-0 LEC
How It Happened
Emily McPadden made 3-of-5 from long distance, finishing with 11 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal to pace the Owls. Sandi Purcell also chipped in 11 points, two assists and a steal, while Hien Thach and Jasmin Mitchell each scored eight. KSC entered this contest with three wins in their past four games.
Nakira Examond, Alicia Kutil and Leah Douty all recorded double-doubles to lead UMass Dartmouth. Examond was 11-of-13 from the free throw line en route to 21 points, 14 rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block. Kutil added 14 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and an assist, while Douty had 13 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Corsairs, who completed an unbeaten conference season.
The first half was tightly contested throughout, with neither team leading by more than five points. Early on, the Owls used two treys from Thach and a layup from Abby Thut to lead 8-6 over the first six-plus minutes of the contest. A jumper from McPadden and a free throw from Mitchell had KSC up three with 1:16 left in the first, but the Corsairs got two free throws and, later, a layup at the buzzer from Lauren Empey to lead 12-11 after one. UMD opened the second with a three from Gonzalez, but McPadden answered with one of her own and, on the next possession, Mitchell scored inside and KSC led 16-15 at the 7:50 mark. A Purcell triple just a handful of seconds later had the Owls up three again, but UMD responded with five straight points and a 21-19 lead nearly halfway through the second. The teams continued to trade leads, as a deep shot from McPadden made it 22-21 KSC, but the Corsairs scored seven of the next eight points for their largest lead of the half. A shot from long range by Purcell kept the Owls close and, with about a minute left, one from McPadden had the Owls in front 31-30. UMD got a layup from Chelsea Houlihan on their final possession of the half and led 32-31 at the break.
The Corsairs quickly assumed control to start the second half, scoring ten consecutive points for a double-digit lead. Douty scored twice inside and a layup from Ashley Brown made it 42-31 just three minutes in. The Owls stayed within ten (44-34) after two Lilly Shlimon free throws halfway through the third quarter, but UMass Dartmouth got baskets from Douty and Jess Korzec to lead 51-35 at the 1:25 mark. A three from Douty had the Corsairs' lead up to 17 before KSC scored three points in the final minute to trail 54-40 after three. The Owls were unable to make any dent in the deficit in the final quarter, as UMD scored five of the first six points to go up 59-41 with less than two minutes gone. The lead went over 20 (63-42) on a Kutil layup at the 7:11 mark. KSC got a three from Mitchell and a free throw from Purcell to draw within 15 (63-48) with 4:08 to go, but UMass Dartmouth scored the final 12 points and wound up outscoring the Owls 43-17 overall in the second half.
In the Paint
- Keene State will be the No. 6 seed in the upcoming Little East Conference tournament and travel to No. 3 seed Southern Maine. UMass Dartmouth had already clinched the tournament's top seed. In fact, the only thing left to be decided in today's action was the 5 through 8 seeds. Western Connecticut wound up finishing fifth over Keene State by virtue of a better head-to-head record against Eastern Connecticut. Plymouth State will be the No. 7 seed and Rhode Island College No. 8 after the Panthers' 61-51 win over the Anchorwomen today.
- UMass Dartmouth shot 39% (26-of-66) from the field and Keene State 26% (15-of-57). The Owls shot 7-of-17 from three-point range in the first half, but settled on 8-of-26 (31%) for the game. The Corsairs were 2-of-19 (11%) from deep. KSC made 10-of-18 free throws and UMD 21-of-29.
- The Corsairs held a whopping 61-27 advantage on the glass and outscored the Owls 23-1 on second chance points. They also dominated KSC in the paint 44-10.
- With the victory, UMass Dartmouth completed a season sweep of Keene State for the first time in the Little East Conference era.
- As mentioned, sixth-seeded Keene State will travel to the No.3 seed University of Southern Maine on Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 pm. It is the second year in a row the Owls and Huskies will match up in the quarterfinal round. Last year, the No. 2 seed Owls beat the No. 7 seeded Huskies 71-46 in Keene. Southern Maine took both regular season matchups this year.
- Top seed UMass Dartmouth will host No. 8 seed Rhode Island College on the same night at 7:00 pm.